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Kris Meeke

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Kris Meeke (born 2 July 1979 in Dungannon, Northern Ireland) is a professional rally driver. He is the current champion of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge He is also Contestant of CBC's Dancing with the Stars. His current co-driver is Paul Nagle. He originally began his career as a Computer Aided Designer with M-Sport, the headquarters of the Ford World Rally Team, before moving on to competing in the 2001 Peugeot Super 106 Cup.

Career

Meeke studied in Queen's University in Belfast and left with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He then moved on to work with M-Sport as a Computer Aided Designer. He took his first step into rallying in 2000, after winning a Peugeot competition for new rally drivers his debut event was the Bulldog Rally held in North Wales, even leading the event for a time. After mixed results, his first victory came on the third round of the 2001 Peugeot Super 106 Cup, the Swansea Bay Festival National Rally.

In early 2002, Meeke's career was boosted when he was taken under the wing of the late Colin McRae and contested the British Junior Championship in a Ford Puma. In June, Meeke won in his category in the Scottish Rally after a calculated drive overseen by McRae, and took second on the Jim Clark Rally, his first full tarmac event. Third position in the final round of the series was however enough for Kris to claim the British Junior Rally Championship title in only his second season in the sport, as well as third in the British S1600 series.

The following year, Kris moved up to the Junior World Rally Championship, driver an Opel Corsa run by Team Palmer. He made an impressive debut setting the fastest time on two of the final leg stages however a string of minor problems dropped Meeke down the order. He retied in the next rally and a potential second place finish in Italy was lost after a crash. Shortly afterwards he claimed consolation by winning the British S1600 title. On the final round of the 2003 JWRC held in Britain, Meeke was running in 2nd place in the JWRC and in 17th position overall before being forced to retire after hitting a rock and rolling his car.

Kris kicked the 2004 season off in style by finishing 3rd in class in the Rally of Monte Carlo. He then took part in the British S1600 event in Wales as a shakedown for the next JWRC in Greece, winning the Welsh event along the way. The next two JWRC events in Greece and Turkey were marred by mechanical problems on the rough gravel terrain. He then took part in the Pirelli Rally in Tampere as shakedown for the next JWRC event in Finland, scoring a class win in Pirelli Rally. He was leading the Finnish JWRC event before a mistake caused him to have a heavy crash and retire. There was further disappointment for Kris when during the last JWRC event in Wales he was plagued by electrical issues in his Opel Corsa. However a spirited drive saw him set seven fastest stage times and finish on the podium in second place.

In 2009, Meeke alongside co-driver Paul Nagle contest the Intercontinental Rally Challenge in a Peugeot UK backed 207 S2000. He crashed out heavily on the Monte Carlo Rally but went on to win the next three rounds in Brazil, Portugal, and Belgium. He won the championship at the penultimate round by winning Rally Sanremo in Italy, after his closest rival Jan Kopecky crashed on the second stage.

Kris currently stars in a new wave of adverts for the Peugeot 207, with the tagline "He's Meeke, but he's not mild".


References

External links


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This page was last modified on 3 October 2009, at 12:37.
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